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Do The Cowboys Have A Backup Plan For A Backup QB?

If the Cowboys can’t find a good backup quarterback in free agency, what’s next? Does it put more pressure on them to find one during the draft? Or is there another way?

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

One of the Cowboys most pressing needs this offseason is to find a dependable backup quarterback in case their franchise QB, Tony Romo, gets hurt. The team has three possible routes to choose from in acquiring a new backup quarterback - free agency, draft, or via trade.

PLAN #1 - Free Agency

With the first week of free agency in the books, nothing has changed for the Cowboys in this department. Several of the possible free agent options are off the board. Colt McCoy isn't coming to Dallas. When you look at the money being thrown around to some of these backup quarterbacks, you can't blame the Cowboys for passing.

So if the team is still looking for free agent targets, the pickings are slim. Ryan Fitzpatrick is still out there, but he's going to command some good money and is going to want to got to a team where he can be the starter. Robert Griffin III is also a player who's a quarterback, but he's too risky and the Cowboys don't want to dice roll with this position. Matt Moore met with the Cowboys already, but didn't come away with a deal. He is off to Indianapolis now.

It looks like the first phase of the backup QB plan has come up empty.

PLAN #2 - The Draft

The Cowboys should have quarterbacks, Carson Wentz or Jared Goff (or possibly both), available when pick number four rolls around. We have no idea what their board will look like or if they even value a quarterback that high. Jerry Jones has already attempted to dismiss this idea, but maybe he's just hoodwinking everyone. If pick four comes and goes and a quarterbacks name isn't called, then Jerry wasn't fooling around, but that doesn't mean the Cowboys won't look for someone later. Connor Cook (Michigan), Dak Prescott (Mississippi State), and Christian Hackenberg (Penn State) are just a few players that should be available past the first round.

But where will these players be ranked on the Cowboys draft board? Dallas was prepared to draft a running back last season, but the stars never aligned and the front office refused to reach. The same could be true this year when it comes to a quarterback. The Cowboys would love to have a young development quarterback on the roster, but if there are more talented players at other positions available in the first few rounds of the draft, taking a quarterback may not happen. Fans might want to prepare themselves for such a possibility.

PLAN #3 - Make A Trade

A couple months ago I wrote about the Babe Laufenberg incident where a complete late-season collapse caused the Cowboys to miss the playoffs in 1990. Troy Aikman had gotten hurt and backup quarterback, Laufenberg was just terrible. Dallas would revamp the position the following year by making a trade with the Los Angeles Raiders for Steve Beuerlein.

The Cowboys might want to consider doing something like this. It's not sensible to spend a lot of cap money for a backup like Philadelphia just did with Chase Daniel. It's also not very smart to take a quarterback with the fourth-overall pick if your scouting department doesn't have him graded that high. And while balking at these two types of costly investments is understandable, the team still needs to ante up something to acquire a backup.

THE SOLUTION - Mike Glennon

Every team wants a backup quarterback who has starting QB ability, but few teams have them. Tampa Bay is one of those teams. The Buccaneers just invested the top pick in last year's draft when they selected Jameis Winston. The rookie quarterback had a solid year for the Bucs and should be the team's QB for years to come. That leaves Mike Glennon on their bench. Glennon has played well, despite things being a hot mess in Tampa. In his rookie season, the third round draft pick (2013) took over the starting job from Josh Freeman. The following year, the Bucs signed free agent Josh McCown to be their starting quarterback so Glennon was sent back to the bench. After McCown got hurt with a thumb injury, Glennon stepped in again and played well, however went 1-4 as their starter. But the losing wasn't his fault. Doug Martin was hurt, the offensive line couldn't block, and the defense was just horrible. Even when McCown returned, the Bucs kept losing. But despite not winning games, Glennon has good QB skills. He has good size and throws his receivers open. He has good arm strength and can thread the needle.

Glennon is a quarterback that could be shopped around. Mark Sanchez has already been traded. Colin Kaepernick could be next. And after teams draft the stronger QBs in the draft, the demand for quarterbacks should drop. It could open the door for the Cowboys to get a good price for Glennon.

The Cowboys have to be planning to do something about the backup QB position. What do you think they have up their sleeve?

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